GDP (eCitizen)
Government Digital Payment

A. Problem Analysis

 1. What was the problem before the implementation of the initiative?
Government service to the public is one of its key mandate enshrined in the Kenya’s constitution. Generally, services are offered by government Ministries, Agencies and Departments (MDAs). Example include the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA), Office of the Attorney General and Department of Justice, Department of immigration services, as well as Directorate of Criminal Justice among others. Services such as registration of companies or businesses, marriage registration, application of driving licenses, land rent clearance certificate, application for passport as well as birth certificates are just but to mention a few some of the services offered by the Government. Over the years, Kenya has long been grappling with inefficiencies in Government service delivery, characterized by resource constraints, bureaucratic processes and lack of accountability. Before the introduction of e-Payment, the Government MDAs largely relied on manual payment system supported by yellow receipts to record financial transactions. This process was fraught with fraud and irregularities subjecting citizens into untenable delays and frustrations during service delivery. In addition, the cost of travel to service access points particularly among low income earners translated into a huge financial and time burden on people, with significant opportunity costs. Moreover, the fact that a majority of these services required one to carry hard cash, cases of corruption proved inevitable.

B. Strategic Approach

 2. What was the solution?
Kenya’s e-citizen portal is a one-stop service that links Government with the citizens, businesses as far as service delivery is concerned. It can therefore be viewed as a partnership between the Government and its associated MDAs on one hand and the citizens on the other hand with a view to enhance information exchange, service provision and interactive participation among all citizens irrespective of their gender. It is an electronic system for the involvement of residents in decision making process.

 3. How did the initiative solve the problem and improve people’s lives?
Kenya’s e-Citizen has changed the way Government delivers service to its citizens. The initiative has saved both Kenyan’s and non-Kenyans the agony of long queues and corruption for quick assistance at Government offices. Additionally, the payments for the services is rendered through the portal thus doing away with middlemen, and paper pushers who would often demand an extra payment to expedite applications. In this regard, the initiative acts as a cost saving mechanism among citizens thus an added income. In the year 2015, statistic show that 1.2 million citizens had registered on the portal. Ordinarily, citizens have benefitted tremendously from the service since it made the previously opaque Government services such as booking a driving test and applying for birth certificate much easier and more transparent. Moreover, the biggest beneficiary is the Government. It is clear that unethical issues such as corruption has been tremendously reduced. Thanks to e-Citizen. During the year 2015, the Government of Kenya received 2.3 Billion worth of payments from the e-portal. Nevertheless, other beneficiaries include the banking sector as well as insurance institutions. For instance, with the invention of e-Citizen, financial institutions in Kenya can check and verify whether the information and identification documents given to them by their clients is legitimate

C. Execution and Implementation

 4. In which ways is the initiative creative and innovative?
Digitalization of Government payments has been proven globally to have positive impacts on economic growth and development. Specifically in a country like Kenya where a majority are classified as youths who in many cases have proven to be technology savvy. The faster adoption of e-Citizen has reaffirmed the spirit of the Kenya Government to have a paradigm shift from analogue to digital. It is everyone’s knowledge that the e-Citizen mode of payment is very innovative. For instance, the fact that the platform can easily be executed online implies accessibility to a majority of Kenyans who are in dire need of services (statistics show that approximately 45 percent of Kenyans are accessible to the internet). This implies that a majority of Kenya’s population can easily use the platform. According to the World Bank (2014), 58 percent of Kenyan’s use mobile money transfer through the Safaricom innovative platform M-Pesa which represents the highest rate in the world. Importantly, one of the gateways that e-Citizen platform offers is the payment via mobile money. This has made it more innovative and much easier to pay for the services.

 5. Who implemented the initiative and what is the size of the population affected by this initiative?
The Government Digital Payment was implemented by a Technical Committee of the National Treasury, CBK and Ministry of ICT, with National Treasury being the implementing institution. Up to date more than three million of the adult population have registered online and are able to access Government services through the e-citizen portal.
 6. How was the strategy implemented and what resources were mobilized?
The Government Digital Payment Platform by the Taskforce focuses on digitizing the payment cycle (applying for payment, invoicing, receipting, payment processing and reconciliation and financial reporting). The eCitizen.go.ke - the web portal is strictly for securing a Single Sign-On (SSO) and application for payment of services requested from the MDA (MDA-web). It allows for single view of applicants across entire government services. Invoicing – an acknowledgement by MDA that coded service request has been made and it costs the applicant the gazette amount; Receipting –modernization of government receipting and standardize acknowledgement of payment by applicant for invoiced service at gazetted cost (this enhances accountability, assures unique receipt No. for receipts across government, enhanced security features such as bar codes. QR codes and digital signature and improved enforcement); Payment processing and reconciliation – the aggregation, settlement and depositing all payments in respect to a coded services provided at the MDA accounts in CBK and generating reconciliation reports; and Reporting – generate daily, weekly, monthly and annual financial reports for each MDA by payment channels and services, or any other format as may be configured. It also provides the National Treasury with a global view of all MDA revenue collection. The system is able to monitor and validate all the transactions in terms of how many transactions are made, how many new entrants registered and how much is collected each day by generating system summary chronological events The technical, human resource and financial cost were supported by International Finance Corporation.

 7. Who were the stakeholders involved in the design of the initiative and in its implementation?
The main stakeholders involved in the design and implementation of the e-Citizen initiative include the public, all Government institutions which include Kenya Revenue Authority, Central Bank of Kenya, Huduma Kenya, Kenya Trade Networks, Judiciary, all Government Ministries, commercial Banks, Safaricom and Airtel Kenya.

 8. What were the most successful outputs and why was the initiative effective?
The most successful outputs of the SDGs through e-Citizen portal initiative are:- o Attainment of a significantly cashless economy and an efficient public service delivery, reduced costs, increased efficiency across the economy and significant expansion in financial inclusion. Citizens are able to access and pay for government services through digital means such as mobile money, credit cards and internet baking - eliminating need for cash payments or queuing to make the payments. o Elimination of cash within Government which has saved a huge costs and risks associated with cash transit and security services. In addition, cashless systems significantly eliminate Revenue leakages thus increasing the total revenue generated by the agencies. The system has saved Kenyans huge financial burden on transport and access to government services throughout the country on a 24Hour basis. o The availability of e-Payments has eased up citizen’s time to engage in more productive activities to build our economy while also improving our global ranking in terms of ease of doing business. Improvements in accounting and transaction audit procedures which has helped the government to track taxes owed and potentially increase collection of tax revenue. o Transparency implicit in the introduction and use of government e-payment services is a tool for combating corruption and improving public services delivery to Kenyans. In addition, bringing transactions onto an electronic platform makes it easier to keep better track of cash flows and to increase visibility and accountability and the platform also presents other numerous benefits that will change how the Government of Kenya interacts and serves citizens and businesses.

 9. What were the main obstacles encountered and how were they overcome?
The main problems that were encountered during implementation were low uptake by MDAs as well as resistance to change, budget constraints, lack of necessary IT infrastructure in such as internet and computer, inadequate staff and human resource to escalate the change management to county level. The possible solution adopted for this problems were training more trainers from various institution, adoption of advertisement through radio and TV to sensitize the public on the new service, and seek more funds from the Government and NGO s to fund change management.

D. Impact and Sustainability

 10. What were the key benefits resulting from this initiative?
Before the digital payment platform, the Government largely relied on a manual payment system supported by yellow receipts to record all financial transactions – a process that was fraught with fraud and irregularities thus, subjected the citizens to untenable delays and frustrations during service delivery. The cost of travel to service access points placed a huge financial and time burden on the citizens, and resulted in significant opportunity costs. The implementation of digital payments for government services therefore:  Saves Kenyans huge financial burden on transport and access to government services throughout the country on a 24Hour basis;  Eases up citizen’s time to engage in more productive activities to build our economy while also improving country’s global ranking in terms of ease of doing business;  Results in Improvements in accounting and transaction audit procedures and is helping the Government track taxes owed and potentially increase collection of tax revenue;  Tracks the amount of time taken to deliver services and provide real-time updates via email and SMS in the course of service delivery 24-hours a day;  Bringing transactions onto an electronic platform makes it easier to keep better track of cash flows and to increase visibility and accountability  Eliminates cash within Government, hence saves huge costs and risks associated with cash transit and security services. In addition, cashless systems significantly eliminates Revenue leakages thus increasing the total revenue generated by the agencies;

 11. Did the initiative improve integrity and/or accountability in public service? (If applicable)
The Government Digital payment system is leveraged on existing regulated payment infrastructure, which were already well developed and secured to assure Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) that all their in-bound payments for which they have offered services are fully reconciled and accounted for. The new digital payment services’ system has streamlined complex processes, saving the public time – and saving the government money. Previous experiences at the local level give the required evidence. For instance, a study carried out by Accenture, (2015), on digitizing government payments in Kenya found that in 2012, the Nairobi County Council spent 60 percent ($264,000) of its parking fee collections on administration costs. In 2014, after digitizing collections, the county reported a 14 percent ($14 million) increase in total revenues. Over 85 percent of payments for parking fees, single business permits and licenses are now made via mobile money. Challenges such as issuance of fake documents and receipts have been eliminated as individuals and businesses can conveniently access legitimate channels. The accounting and transaction audit procedures have been made easier via the cashless window, a move that has helped the government track taxes owed and potentially increase collection of tax revenue. Moreover, the transparency implicit in the introduction and use of government e-payment services has proven a useful tool for combating corruption and improving public services delivery to the citizens. For example, the National Treasury circular for MDAs to deposit revenues into their CBK reserve account enhanced transparency and boosted revenues collected.

 12. Were special measures put in place to ensure that the initiative benefits women and girls and improves the situation of the poorest and most vulnerable? (If applicable)
N/A

Contact Information

Institution Name:   Government Digital Payment
Institution Type:   Government Department  
Contact Person:   Harry Mwangi
Title:   Head of Department  
Telephone/ Fax:   +254 20 2252299
Institution's / Project's Website:  
E-mail:   hmwangi@ict.go.ke  
Address:   30007
Postal Code:   00100
City:   Nairobi
State/Province:   NAIROBI
Country:  

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